The Walloon government will indeed soon have to decide on the numerous complaints lodged against the new operating license granted last August.
The protesters present emphasized the incompatibility between the current expansion projects and the environmental emergency. “We are facing a delusion, explains Nicolas, member of the Stop Alibaba & Co collective. The IPCC explains to us that we must massively and most often immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors if we want to have a chance of keeping a habitable planet. However, we still wonder if it is a good idea to continue developing an airport… Worse, the few new restrictions included in the permit are not to reduce activity at the airport, but simply to slow down its development, severely attacked by the management and the main operators, but also by a majority of the political class, who mediate without budging on their job blackmail! »
Faced with this situation, the activists of Stop Alibaba & Co wanted to remind the Walloon ministers of the environmental problem by symbolically handing them the “Summary for decision-makers” of the latest IPCC report. “Obviously, they haven’t read it,” says Annick, another activist present at the apartment. Otherwise, we would not even be debating the permit, but rather the way we can best drive our exit from fossil fuels, including and especially when many jobs are at stake”.
“There are many jobs at stake, but…”
For the “Stop Alibaba & Co” collective, the employment argument can no longer continue to legitimize political decisions (or non-decisions) that every day bring humanity a little closer to a situation of no return from an environmental point of view. “We know that there are many jobs that depend on fossil fuels, regardless of whether it is at the airport or elsewhere, Annick continues. But that’s exactly the problem! The task of governments is not to ignore it, but on the contrary to anticipate it in order to now organize reconversions that will leave no one behind”.
The protesters therefore want the Walloon government to take advantage of the holiday season to update itself and finally draw the necessary conclusions. “It shouldn’t be very complicated,” says Nicolas. On the one hand, the IPCC tells us that we have 3 years to limit our emissions and until 2030 to halve them. On the other hand, the new managing director of the airport has himself acknowledged that the technological solutions that (perhaps!) will allow the aviation industry to achieve CO2 neutrality will not be ready for 20 or 30 years…” .